How To Build Maj9 Chords, Learn to build and play Maj9 Chords on Guitar
The Professor
May 14 2013, 03:44 PM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
How to Build Major 9th Chords

In today’s theory lesson we’ll be looking at how you build Maj9 chords, as well as 8 commonly used fingerings for these chords that you can take into the practice and bring into your playing and songwriting.

The Maj9 chord comes from the Ionian mode, as it uses the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th notes of the aeolian mode in it’s construction.

Here is how you would build a Cmaj9 chord from the C ionian mode.

Notice how the numbers of the C ionian mode are used to spell the numbers of the Cmaj9 chord, 1-3-5-7-9, as this is the interval pattern needed to build any maj9 chord, regardless of key.

Attached Image

So, the Maj9 chord is built by taking the Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th of the related Ionian Mode.

Test Your Theory Knowledge

To help get this formula under your fingers and into your theory chops, you can write out all 12 different Maj9 chords, such as C E G B D for Cmaj9, and post them in the comments section of this thread.

I’ll be glad to check your work and help with any questions you have regarding this lesson on building Maj9 chords.

Maj9 Chord Shapes

To keep things practical as well as theoretical, here are 8 different shapes for Cmaj9 that you can take into your guitar playing.

Each of these shapes is commonly used and if you have even a few of them under your fingers will allow you to easily bring these sounds into your playing regardless of the style or musical situation.

Since we only have four fingers, and we are dealing with 5-note spellings, a lot of the time we omit the 5th when playing Maj9 chords, such as the ones you see below that use R-3-7-9 in their construction.

Attached Image

Check out Maj9 chords from both a construction and practical application.

These chords will pop up from time to time, or a lot if you play blues, jazz or fusion, and so it’s a good idea to have a mental and physical understanding of these common chords.

You are at

Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

This post has been edited by The Professor: May 18 2013, 10:09 AM

Ask me anything on the theory board. Follow my theory course. Check out my personal site
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 29th November 2021 - 04:37 AM